Parts of coastal North Carolina are under a tropical storm watch.

Parts of coastal North Carolina are under a tropical storm watch, as Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the East Coast.

Havelock was not in the watch area as of 2 p.m. on Friday. The watch means that tropical storm force winds of 40 mph or higher are possible within 36 hours.

The biggest effects from the storm will likely be felt from Saturday through Monday.

According to the National Weather Service in Newport, the Havelock area will likely see winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph as Sandy moves well off the coast of North Carolina. Higher gusts up to 50 mph may be possible Sunday.

Residents are being advised to secure outdoor furniture, trash cans and other items, as well as Halloween decorations that could blow away or be damaged in the wind.

Rainfall in the area over the course of the storm through Monday is predicted to be 4 to 6 inches, which could result in flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas.

Water levels are expected to rise in the Pamlico Sound, Neuse River and associated creeks. Predictions call for 3 to 5 feet of water level rise, creating the potential for flooding.

In Carteret County, which is under a tropical storm watch, winds are expected to be 35 to 55 mph with gusts to 70 mph. The weather service predicts little chance of hurricane-force winds of 75 mph in the area.

Waves are expected to be 8 to 12 feet with dangerous rip current threats. Authorities are advising swimmers to stay out of the water and boaters not to go out into the sounds or seas.

Larger impacts from the storm are expected north of Cape Lookout and along the Outer Banks.

As of 2 p.m.. Friday, Sandy had 75 mph winds and was off the coast of Miami, Fla., moving north at 7 mph. The National Hurricane Center predicts Sandy will slow in forward motion and turn to the northeast, staying off the coast of North Carolina Sunday and Monday before curving back northwesterly and making landfall Tuesday somewhere along the mid-Atlantic coast, possibly in Maryland, Delaware or New Jersey.